Preparing Arts Professionals for the Cultural Sector of the Future
The cultural world is in a state of rapid transformation due to technological innovation, urbanisation, economic globalisation, and an increasingly unpredictable sociopolitical landscape. All facets of the arts – practice, organisation, leadership, societal relevance, and internationalisation (in Europe and beyond) – are affected by this transformation. Utrecht University's Master of Arts and Society will prepare you to operate as a leading figure in the global arts, media, and cultural sectors of the future.
Our Master’s programme is designed to meet the urgent need for arts professionals who possess rigorous theoretical and research skills coupled with practical abilities and an acute awareness of the current state of the sector at the local and global levels. As a student in this programme, you will explore, for example, the dynamics and dilemmas within existing mainstream culture and its relationship with a growing number of “alternative” cultural practices, new models of creative production and industry, and the ever-increasing role of the arts in social justice.
Why Choose this Programme at Utrecht University?
Our Master’s programme is unique in many ways:
You will benefit from interdisciplinary programme content that places a special emphasis on grassroots and participatory arts in social contexts.
The Department of Media and Culture Studies, our programme's home, is a community of world-class scholars whose teaching and research complement Arts and Society.
You will be trained in highly innovative social research skills that combine methodological rigor, creative expression and critical engagement with the arts practices.
You will learn from faculty with international expertise and benefit from a curriculum with a global orientation.
Through our organisational partnerships in Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific, North America, and Latin America, you will get a chance to meet and interact with arts professionals working in a wide variety of contexts.
You will have a broad range of opportunities for student exchange and joint research through our numerous academic partnerships across the globe.
With a Master in Arts and Society you will:
Have an understanding of the latest developments in international discourse on arts and society, which is fed by a variety of scholars from both the humanities and the social sciences.
Be able to formulate independent opinions and contribute to this discourse clearly and convincingly.
Possess academic and practical skills that you can implement effectively and creatively in your future professional career. You will have acquired these abilities in the class, in the library, on the Internet, in practical work, and in the field where you will have carried out research into mainstream and alternative practices.
In your programme, you will have the opportunity to actively work on your career development.
Our Master’s programme prepares a new generation of creative critical thinkers and doers for the global cultural sector: cross-sector cultural partnerships (i.e. between arts and healthcare or arts and development), transitional processes of conventional cultural institutions looking for new audiences, research into the social and intrinsic value of art, and intercultural and international collaborations. Read more about possible career prospects.
This programme focuses on transitional processes in existing institutions of the current cultural sector that are looking for new audiences and social relevance. It also focuses on emerging cultural practices in peripheral contexts (both urban and rural), and in public space, healthcare, the justice system (prisons), refugee environments, developing countries, and peace and reconciliation processes.
Obvious themes in these areas are the tensions between traditional and contemporary cultures (and the diversity within each of these), active and radical citizenship, and the centrality of human rights, i.e., the fundamental right to express oneself on one’s own terms.
A central question in all this is how participation in the arts relates to participation in society. It is an issue that all existing and newly emerging cultural organisations and artists cannot afford to ignore. Our students will prepare themselves for this and for all related challenges.
The Master's programme in Arts and Society prepares arts professionals for a range of careers:
Ministries of Culture
Urban Planning, Design and Strategy
Design Thinking and Creative Strategy and Research
Arts-focused public sector enterprise and non-profit organisations
Arts and entertainment companies
Festival/event conceptualisation and planning
Education, community outreach or audience development for mainstream arts institutions such as museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls.
Multi-sector arts-based initiatives (arts in hospitals, prisons, refugee centres, etc.)
Curating and programming internationally and cross-culturally
Arts-based community organising and advocacy
Arts and cultural consulting
Arts and cultural policy advising at the local, national, regional and international levels
Arts and culture research, writing and criticism
Tourism policy and product development
The main purpose of the programme is to prepare students for a professional career in the cultural sector. In principle, the two-year Research Master in Media, Arts, and Performance Studies provides better preparation for a PhD trajectory, but it is in some cases possible to continue in such a trajectory after finishing the Arts and Society programme.
Application date: 1-October-2020
Deadlines: 1-April-2021 (non-EU)/ 1-June-2021 (EU/EEA)
Start date: 1-September-2021
Tuition fee (2021-2022)
Full-time EU/EEA, Surinam or Swiss students: € 2168
International students: €17,280
Notes for British applicants:
Utrecht University is not yet sure which implications Brexit will have on the tuition fees and visa requirements for British Citizens. Any updates and information you can find on this website